The first founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held in New Delhi on Sunday, aiming to promote solar energy.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the summit at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and senior representatives and dignitaries from over 50 countries joined the summit.
Bangladesh signed the ISA Framework Agreement at the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco on November 15, 2016 and ratified on September 28, 2017.
Bangladesh identified the project 'Establishment of Solar based Base stations in hard to reach areas for strengthening Teletalk Network coverage' at an estimated cost of $30 million.
The objective of the project is to cater to modern High Speed 3G Telecommunication services to the unconnected population of Bangladesh in the Sundarbans, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Haor areas.
The International Solar Alliance is a treaty based alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries, headquartered at Gurugram, India.
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The ISA initiative was launched on November 30, 2015 as an action oriented international and intergovernmental organization to maximize harnessing of solar energy potential, to modernise our energy systems, universalise access to energy, accelerate economic development and to alleviate poverty.
Addressing the summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "In India, we have started the world's largest renewable energy expansion program. We will generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be from solar power. We have already achieved 20 GW installed solar power.”
Modi said what is going to be the way forward is something all they have to think. "I have 10 action points in my mind that I want to share with you all. First and foremost, we have to ensure that better and affordable solar technology is available to all and accessible to everyone. We need to increase the proportion of solar power in our energy mix."
He said they have to encourage innovation so that solar solutions can be provided for various needs. "We will have to provide concessional financing and low risk finance for solar projects."
Modi said developing countries will have to develop consultancy support for bankable solar projects. "If you want all of humanity to benefit, then I am confident that we all will come together and think like one family, so that we are able to bring unity and solidarity in our objectives and efforts."
"This is the way we will be able to achieve what ancient monks used to pray for when they said 'Tamaso ma Jyatirgamaya' which means "From darkness, lead me to light."
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the alliance is a reflection of the vision and the firm belief that the beneficence of the sun could be used to bring together the people of this planet for a shared solution to our energy needs.
She added that in a recognition of this responsibility, India has provided support worth $27 million towards hosting the ISA secretariat, created an ISA corpus fund, offered training support for ISA member countries at National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) and also provided support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications.